Short­est coach­ing tenures

Weekend Herald - - KRIS SHANNON'S WORLD OF SPORT - The most un­stop­pable force in foot­ball Jorg Berger Ge­orge O’Leary Leroy Rose­nior

Don’t call racist pres­i­dent racist

The lat­est pres­i­dency has quite clearly bro­ken many es­tab­lished prece­dents. To bor­row a mal­a­prop­ism from Don­ald Trump’s own Twit­ter ac­count, an ar­gu­ment could be made the en­tire ad­min­is­tra­tion is “un­pres­i­dented”.

And yet, what hap­pened on Thurs­day was par­tic­u­larly in­com­pa­ra­ble and par­tic­u­larly felt by sport jour­nal­ists — or, re­ally, any em­ployee in any part of the pri­vate sec­tor.

Re­spond­ing to com­ments made on Twit­ter by ESPN Sport­scen­ter an­chor Jemele Hill, White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said the fol­low­ing: “I think that’s one of the more out­ra­geous com­ments that any­one could make, and cer­tainly some­thing that I think is a fire­able of­fence by ESPN.”

In case there’s any need for clar­ity, that was the White House call­ing on a pri­vate com­pany to dis­miss an em­ployee who, in keep­ing with her rights pro­tected un­der the first amend­ment, ex­pressed her opin­ion in her per­sonal time.

Now, to that opin­ion. Here are a few rather in­dis­putable things Hill tweeted to her 640,000 fol­low­ers on Wed­nes­day:

“Don­ald Trump is a white su­prem­a­cist who has largely sur­rounded him­self [ with] other white su­prem­a­cists.”

“Trump is the most ig­no­rant, of­fen­sive pres­i­dent of my life­time. His rise is a di­rect re­sult of white supremacy. Pe­riod.”

“He is un­qual­i­fied and un­fit to be pres­i­dent. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”

To sup­port her case Hill ref­er­enced Trump’s re­sponse to the racial vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville, when the pres­i­dent said there were “many fine peo­ple” among the white su­prem­a­cists chant­ing Nazi slo­gans, and in that light it’s dif­fi­cult to dis­agree with any­thing she wrote.

It may be jar­ring for a mem­ber of the me­dia to so openly la­bel Trump for what he is, but that doesn’t make it any less true, nor does it con­sti­tute a fire­able of­fence.

For now, Hill’s bosses at ESPN haven’t gone that far, al­though in re­sponse to the pre­dictable back­lash from the right that greeted the an­chor’s com­ments, the com­pany did rep­ri­mand her in an ini­tial state­ment that lended the story enough merit for it to end up in the White House brief­ing room.

“The com­ments on Twit­ter from Jemele Hill re­gard­ing the Pres­i­dent do not rep­re­sent the po­si­tion of ESPN,” the state­ment read. “We have ad­dressed this with Jemele and she recog­nises her ac­tions were in­ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Even that is still pretty stupid. ESPN is so des­per­ate to re­main apo­lit­i­cal that a few an­gry knuck­le­heads of Twit­ter can cause one of the big­gest me­dia com­pa­nies in the world to cen­sure an em­ployee for what she wrote on her per­sonal ac­count.

Re­mem­ber, Trump sup­ported the white su­prem­a­cists after one of the group drove his car into a group of pro­test­ers, killing a young woman who was speak­ing out against their hate.

Now, a sports jour­nal­ist can’t get the sup­port of her com­pany for con­demn­ing the pres­i­dent’s stand. Hill did, how­ever, find some en­cour­age­ment from Colin Kaeper­nick, with the black­balled quar­ter­back tweet­ing: “We are with you @ jemele­hill”. We need to talk about An­to­nio Cro­mar­tie’s pe­nis. We may have talked about it a cou­ple of times be­fore, but its con­tin­u­ing prow­ess leaves no other choice.

Once upon a time, when Cro­mar­tie had fa­thered a mere nine chil­dren with eight dif­fer­ent women, the foot­ball player de­lighted tele­vi­sion au­di­ences in the United States by strug­gling to re­count the names of his off­spring dur­ing a doc­u­men­tary se­ries, which on sec­ond thought was prob­a­bly not so de­light­ful for the kids them­selves.

Prob­a­bly wisely, once Cro­mar­tie set­tled down and had an­other two chil­dren with his wife, Ter­ricka Ca­son, he de­cided enough was enough and had a va­sec­tomy, en­sur­ing his brood had enough mem­bers to field a foot­ball of­fence but no more.

Or so he thought. Last year, how­ever, the cor­ner­back an­nounced his pe­nis had over­come a less than one per cent chance and he and Ca­son were ex­pect­ing — twins, no less, to take his tally to an un­lucky 13.

Un­lucky, be­cause this week the 33- year- old Cro­mar­tie re­vealed his pe­nis had struck again and he was set to fa­ther his third child after hav­ing the va­sec­tomy that was sup­posed to put an end to it all.

It’s hard to take se­ri­ously the claim at this point but, for what it’s worth, Ca­son in­sisted the cou­ple were fin­ished at five, jok­ing that they might need to take ex­treme mea­sures to negate the pow­ers of Cro­mar­tie’s pe­nis. “We are ab­so­lutely, pos­i­tively done with hav­ing kids,” Ter­ricka told Us Weekly, quip­ping the cou­ple were now celi­bate. “We’ve been blessed with th­ese guys but adding to it, I think, would kill us both.” When Frank de Boer was sacked as man­ager of In­ter Mi­lan after 85 days in charge, he must have thought it couldn’t get any worse. Any yet, in his next job, Crys­tal Palace fired the Dutch­man just four games into the new English Premier League foot­ball sea­son, mak­ing for a ten­ure of 77 days. I’m start­ing to think a man who won 100 caps and a Euro­pean Cup as a player isn’t ex­actly the most pop­u­lar of man­agers. In fair­ness to Palace, de Boer’s team did lose all four of those games with­out scor­ing a goal. And his em­ploy­ment lasted a rel­a­tive life­time com­pared to some of his peers’ in the ruth­less world of top- level sport . . .

Berger was a man­age­rial jour­ney­man in Ger­many, hold­ing 21 dif­fer­ent po­si­tions dur­ing a 39- year ca­reer. And the last of those po­si­tions was at Ar­minia Biele­feld, who made him man­ager with one game left in the sea­son in a bid to avoid rel­e­ga­tion from the Bun­desliga. Biele­feld drew, they were sent down and Berger was shown the door five days after be­ing ap­pointed.

An­other man who lasted all of five days, O’Leary didn’t even en­joy the lux­ury of coach­ing a game after land­ing the top job for Notre Dame’s foot­ball team. He had only him­self to blame, how­ever, be­ing found to have lied ex­ten­sively on his re­sume, in­clud­ing in­vent­ing a Masters de­gree from NYU- Stony Brook Univer­sity, a non- ex­is­tent in­sti­tu­tion clev­erly named after two real schools.

The record for the short­est coach­ing ten­ure will take some beat­ing. Rose­nior ini­tially man­aged Torquay United be­tween 2002 and 2006 and, after the Gulls were rel­e­gated into the Con­fer­ence in 2007, he was reap­pointed. But 10 min­utes after Rose­nior’s re­hir­ing was an­nounced, Torquay were taken over by a con­sor­tium who im­me­di­ately sacked him. “It was a shock but we had a good laugh about it,” Rose­nior said at the time. “Ob­vi­ously, they thought I’d done a fan­tas­tic job after 10 min­utes and let me go.”

Pic­tures / AP

Jemele Hill has hit out at Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

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